Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Interior ministry releases accident statistics

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The number of fatalities in vehicle accidents has increased nearly 20 percent year-on-year, but a recent Ministry of the Interior report attributes the increase to more accurate reporting methods, rather than an actual increase in deaths.

According to figures released by the ministry, there were 67,845 traffic accidents causing injuries or death in the first five months of this year, an 11.3 percent rise from the same period last year.

There were 66,574 accidents resulting in injuries -- an 11.2 percent increase from the same period last year -- while fatal accidents increased 19.8 percent, to 1,271.

The number of deadly traffic accidents had been gradually declining from 1990 to 2004, but increased again last year, the report said, because the police had changed the method by which they report accidents.

Of the 1,271 fatal accidents, 300 were caused by drunk-driving, while 250 were from driver inattention and 134 from improper driving, the report said.

Compared to the same time last year, the largest percentage of people who were killed -- 56.25 percent -- died when they lost control of their vehicle while drunk-driving, while the next-most fatal type of accident was from turning inappropriately while drunk-driving.

Two-wheeled vehicles are the most dangerous type of vehicle to travel on, with 487 (38.32 percent) of fatalaties in traffic accidents riding motorcycles or scooters, followed by cars with 380 incidents (29.9 percent) and large trucks with 125 incidents (9.91 percent).

Most of the accidents occurred on city streets, followed by highways and, lastly, small countryside roads, the report said.

Officials said that contrary to the popular belief that most deadly accidents occurred late at night or at dawn, the report found that most accidents happened at 6pm to 8pm in the evening, followed by 8pm to 10pm and 6am to 8am in the morning.

In other words, deadly accidents are most likely to occur during rush hour traffic, officials said.

In terms of where most traffic accidents resulting in deaths are situated, Taoyuan County ranked first, followed by Kaohsiung County and Taipei County, the report said.

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